California Golf

California Golf + Travel Jan18

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to stay below the hole. The par-4 4th, rated No. 1 on the card, plays 458 yards from the blues downhill to a well-bunkered green, often into the wind, but this hole is a treat on clear days with Catalina Island visible in the distance. No. 8 is a picturesque downhill par-3 at 173 yards from the back to a green surrounded by trees and six bunkers. One less club usually is the play, although check the wind before deciding and you might wind up with a birdie opportunity. The 15th hole is the shortest of the two par-5s, playing 499 yards from the blues, but the tee shot is fairly tight with trees on the right, and water comes into play on the second shot on the right and front of the green. The prudent play is to lay up on the second shot and play for birdie with an accu- rate approach to a two-tiered green that slopes severely from back to front. The 393-yard 18th hole provides a dramatic finish, with a bunker down the left side of a fairway that slopes from the right toward a lake further down on the left. Go too far to the right and a tall tree stands in the path to a green protected by water on the left and behind. Time has not changed the golf expe- rience on this gorgeous property once owned by Pio Pico, California governor in the mid-1800s, and Friendly Hills Country Club is easily accessible from anywhere in Southern California from the 57, 91, 605, 60 and 5 freeways. And it's just as friendly as it was 50 years ago. COURTESY FRIENDLY HILLS COUNTRY CLUB COURTESY FRIENDLY HILLS COUNTRY CLUB COURTESY FRIENDLY HILLS COUNTRY CLUB JAN/FEB 2015 35

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